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 Post subject: Shushin's First visit to Kruger WOW!!!! May '13
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:41 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thought I would try at giving a trip report. Not very good at these things but here goes.

We arrived at Kruger finally!! After all these years of wishing :bcool: So after spending 2 wonderful nights with friends at Ngwenya we were on our own. We entered the gate at Croc bridge at 6am. We were on a time restrictions to get to Orpen gate to go for 2 nights to Sabi Sands before returning to the Kruger. So we said we only stop for critter roadblocks and rare sightings :wink:. Less than 10 min in cars blocked the road a Leopard was sighted (no photo opportunity) but was a nice fleeting sight. Lots of nice general critters seen all the way up to and past Lower Sabie.ImageImage then as we came towards Tshokwane bam big ellie bull hogging all the road :roll: They really do not have a thought for drivers.Image So kept my distance and followed him at a snails pace petrol engine very quiet as well. My So had the video camera rolling on and off. and I managed 1 picture. I noticed him very casually move his trunk to his tusk and flatten his ears back :big_eyes: ermm I know what you are going to do so hit reverse just as he spun round ( boy was he quick) I reversed back as he chases us up the road. My SO nearly died of fright and used a few choice words.Me I could not stop laughing. So my 50-60 meters clearance was not enough for him point taken. This however was not the last close encounter we had with ellie. So after 5 min or so he had enough and walked into the bush enabling us to get on our merry way. While at our final destination we saw plenty game Rhino,Lion (too close for comfort encounter) Elephant,Wild dog etc. We later saw all these in the Kruger :D So will post pics in next post

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Well the part of my trip I have been waiting for staying in the Kruger. Our first stop was at Satara really enjoyed my stay here. First night we encountered the notorious Honey badger pair just as it was coming dusk (first pic is not good) :( They both made a beeline to a Rondavel across from us, one climbed onto the kitchen surface and promptly started to drink all the cooking oil from a pan. This did not go down at all well the gentleman who tried to shoo it away but it got very nasty.ImageImage. But was very funny to watch :) One of them later paid a visit to my SO while he was reading outside and near scared him half to death it came up behind him. He soon came to bed :wink: Next morning we were out at the crack of dawn 5.45am coffee and rusks in hand. Lots of critters all over really good day.Image
2 lioness on a kill they had 3 small cubs but hard to capture in the grass.
Image Lots of raffie.Image
Hyena at den did not see the cubs but others did later. Kori Bustard Image.
Lots of ellie,zebs and general critters was a really good day. Next post when we drove to Oliphants where my wish came true :D

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:38 pm 
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I did get one but not the best pic Image

Trrp-trrrrrrrr wrote:
Shushin,

Wow!!! what an exciting start you had.. :clap: Chasing Ellie who seemed in a bad mood. :wink:

Great Honey badger sightings .. :dance: They seem to rule the roost taking over the camp it seems :hmz: and enjoy all there is to eat and drink from the guests. :lol:

Lions with a kill :mrgreen: ...at least you saw the cubs even if you could not managed a pic very 8) .

Hyena is really giving you the eye there, lovely Image

:popcorn:

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:04 pm 
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So we went off to Olifants for lunch.
Image

I had always wished to see Elephant walk across the Oliphants and guess what !!!! :D my wish came true.
Image
Image

Yes you are a long way up from the river but hey a sight that will live me me for a long time.

On the way back we found this magnificent fellow Image

And a few of the little things.
Image Olive grass snake I think?
Image shongololo think that is the spelling :wink:

Ok bored you enough for now :P

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:46 am 
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Today we drove everywhere up and around any road we found. Have to say some hellish potholes were encountered but most of those were on the little layby areas.

We found this Ellie he was a calm gentleman just munched his way along ignoring us.
Image

We found this female waterbuck not sure what is on her mouth, at first I thought she had her tongue lolling out.
Image

So off we go again mooching around for for any critters. But boy it was hot for a few days 32c so much for it being winter.

We then came across some flat cats :D
Image
One of them was such a lovely poser :wink:
Image
Image
It was also a good bird day :D but birds are not very accommodating they always land just out off lens range for my camera for good close up shots :( but I tried.
Image
Image
Image

Ok next time we will have moved to Lower Sabie where my SO fell in love :k with the residents at Sunset Dam :wink: Enjoy

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:42 am 
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Just wanted to add that at the sighting of the Hyena. When we arrived another vehicle was parked very very close with the side door open so the occupants could get better shots . This was a vehicle from a endangered species centre not sure which one. They had a group of very noisy Canadians in it who we meet on the night drive later at Satara (not a good drive). I really wanted to say something to the driver of the vehicle that he should know better having the door open. But he was not the most friendly of peeps so decided to leave it.

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:48 am 
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Thank you all for the lovely comments :)

So we thought as we were at Lower Sabie we would see what all the fuss was over
"Sunset Dam"
I now know why it is a little gem (when you can get a nice parking space)
My SO fell in love with this place :)
We had to make sure we were back her each night at no later then 4-4.30,
so he could watch the hippo he loves them :lol:
Image


My love has got to be the Bateleur such a magnificent bird :k
This one flew down into the road right in front of us to a road kill.

Image

Some more critters we encountered at LS and surrounding area.

Lion had to make B/W as colour was rubbish as it was early morn.
Image

We came across 2 Wild Dog the female was very heavily pregnant.
Sorry missed her ears :doh:
Image

What a cute pair these are :D

Image

Lord of all he surveys :)
Image

Hyena give me the Heebie-jeebies

Image


Image

More Later enjoy

_________________
May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


Last edited by Shushin on Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:37 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Yes indeed BB. He was a in a bad mood that day :( I need to take a still pic from video so I can ask Aat for a ID. Have a Idea but not 100% sure.

Bush Baptist wrote:
This looks like it could be one of the Kruger big tuskers, judging from the size of that tusk. :thumbs_up:

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Shushin wrote:
We found this Ellie he was a calm gentleman just munched his way along ignoring us.
Image


I think your 'calm gentleman' might be Mavumbye, one of the most recently named tuskers on Aat's site. Where did you see him? I've only ever 'seen' him on the Satara cam and I'd love to see him for real. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Love your ellies crossing the river, the Bateleur, flat lines, the doggie :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Thanks for sharing.

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:35 pm 
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Thank you chirinda :) It was around Satara cannot remember on which road :(

This is the other Elephant he is in musth. No wonder he chased us up the road :big_eyes: The picture is rubbish, I had to take it from video and the recorder is a old thing (note to self buy new one before next trip)

Image

chirinda wrote:
Shushin wrote:
We found this Ellie he was a calm gentleman just munched his way along ignoring us.


I think your 'calm gentleman' might be Mavumbye, one of the most recently named tuskers on Aat's site. Where did you see him? I've only ever 'seen' him on the Satara cam and I'd love to see him for real. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Love your ellies crossing the river, the Bateleur, flat lines, the doggie :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Thanks for sharing.

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:24 am 
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These are some of the sightings we had over 2 days before we moved to our final camp in the Kruger :(
We travel some huge distances these 2 days boy was I bushed at the end of the day. Driving 10-11hrs is a killer but would not have it any other way. :D

Sunrise and sunset are always special.
Image

We came across this pair miles from anywhere. Magnificent they are.
Image

Early morning these babs look so cold bless!!
Image

Forget which road this was taken but we regularly saw these along it. They are just so cute :) Nearly as cute as the Suni but that is another story.

Image

Once again we came across lion hiding in the bush. Pics are not the best had terrible trouble with focus it liked the grass better that the subject. New camera for a newbie photographer :hmz: all these dials and setting will have it worked out for next year :wink: I am sure.

Image


Nice Heron we encountered
Image


And this was my one and only blackie sighting (some may have seen this) looks like he has been in a territory encounter?
Image

So as the sun sets on another day in the bush. We travelled down to Croc bridge for our last night in the park the next morning :( And only a brief glimpse of a leopard on the first day. What will the last day bring?!!!!! Bursting with excitement but you will have to wait for next time :wink: :twisted:

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:03 pm 
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We left Lower Sabie with a heavy heart :( So car packed for the short drive to Croc bridge for last night. At the gate at 5.45 coffee and Rusk's at the ready. I was NOT leaving the park without seeing and getting photos of a leopard, I have all day :D So out the gate we go :pray: We had heard lion in the night so we went looking for them.
We found the male we had seen yesterday. Pic is rubbish again
Image

And finally after driving as slow as is possible on the wrong side of the road. SO was talking away and out of the corner of my eye, sure I spotted something lay in the grass about 10ft from the road. So I hit reverse OMG I have never been so happy in my life :D I was like a giddy school girl :redface:. Lay asleep was a female leopard :k

Image


She lifted her head and looked at me with those eyes OMG I was in love.

Image

On my travels in Zimbabwe I had seen Lion Cheetah etc but Leopard had eluded me and was so desperate to see one close up. I was in well need I say more :D

She then raised herself and looked at us my heart melted :D I have done this one in B/W only because I was tinkering and thought it looked so good.

Image

She then started calling not sure why another male,lost cubs??

Image

She then stood up and had a wander she was in fantastic condition her coat was stunning. 20 min we got to spend with this wonderful lady.

Image

This was my highlight of the whole trip. So while watching her I managed to snap lol this bird ID would be grateful.
Image

So after that sighting I needed to calm down :redface: and off we toddled looking for more interesting things to find. But I was a giddy mess all day. So next pics of some of the sightings we had for the rest of the day.

Image

Image

Image

And that was the end of our trip in the Kruger park :( But no the end of this report :D after kind approval from the mods I can share some of my pics from the rest of my trip no area's will be mentioned. So next time pics and stories.

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:19 pm 
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Well that was the end of my first Kruger and one I will never forget :D So these next photos are from the rest of my travels in SA. And boy did we have some great sightings and some very scary moments.

We came across these on a afternoon drive 14 in total they had the scent of something :D .
Image

We carried on and came upon this nasty old dagger boy :( He wanted so badly to wipe us off the face of the planet so we had to make a hasty retreat guide thought it was best. He has a look on his face that says' "You owe me money and I want it NOW" :wink: This is one animal I really do not trust them they scare me :big_eyes:

Image


A little later we came across Tsala pride an all female pride Grandma(BB) daughter and her 2 girls. They are a formidable group of ladies and they are very big for lioness. We will revisit these ladies again :wink:

Image

Image

This is the old lady BB

Image

Next was this little ellie he kept mock charging us it was so funny.

Image

And this one OH bless :k

Image

Next we came across this fine young man :D he was on a mission the guide thinks by how he was acting that a female was in the area :roll:
Image

Ok this tale is to be continued next time a spotted kitty with a kill, twin baby ellie and the scary moment with a Tsala lioness :big_eyes:

Enjoy all

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Another one of our sightings was while out on a drive. Word was a Cheetah had been found with a kill so off we shot to see this. Getting pictures was a bit difficult as she was well tucked away managed to get a couple when she sat up for a brief moment. She had by the looks sprained something as she was favouring a leg quite badly which we could see when she sat up. She not only had a 1 but 2 kills 1 Impala the other a young Kudu.

Image

Image


As the dusk turned to night we could hear the Tsala ladies. So as you do we went find the source of the roaring. They had moved out into the open area stayed just out of the light from the landi but 2 were fairly close.
SO and I had the back seat SO on the right me on the left. But typical, lions were on the right well the 2 we could see. These 2 kept coming a little closer and closer. The guide said keep nice and still no sudden movement all will be fine. If they come much closer I will move but when I say no pics you must stop. Ermm!! :hmz: Well the young female thought I want to see these peeps in the landi those 2 at the back look nice and friendly will pay them a visit yikes :big_eyes: . So she came and sat next to the tyre at the side of SO, who was trying to make himself as thin as possible. (I must add the man in front with all honesty I could have slapped him “No sudden Movement” he was like a god dam yoyo.) She then decided to walk around behind the landi no light cannot see her (panic). Stopping at the tyre my side looking at me, you know when you watch a house cat and the stance they take when they are about to pounce well she had it I was #’#’ myself. :big_eyes: But she did not she spied Impala and started to stalk them with the rest of the ladies. I have never been so scared if it had been day time I would not have been worried but lion at night are a different kettle of fish. This picture is off her, look at her smiling or laughing at us.

Image

The guide said that was a bit too close for comfort (you are not kidding). Wonder what happened to "I will move and no pics"?? In my opinion it is only a matter of time before something happens. But that will not be our last close encounter hehe!! Next time it will be bigger!!!

As I mentioned in my last post we came across twin elephant calfs they were so cute.

Image

Other things we encountered were.

Leopard tortoise.
Image

Was informed this is a blue headed Agama. But correct me if wrong.
Image

Nice pair of Hammerkop
Image

Juvenile Southern ground hornbill
Image

Goliath heron
Image

Ok thats your lot for now enjoy

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May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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 Post subject: Re: First visit to the Kruger WOW !!!!
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:32 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Kruger in mind & spirit. Reality UK
Thank you Carol :gflower: I have well sort of got internet back but they are still testing to get the line stable not good enough for me to watch cams or anything maybe later today it will bee 100%. So fingers crossed. :pray:
Our next encounters with the amazing African wild life just kept on coming. Thought I would show some of the birds for this post and save the others for later.

This was the only chance I had to get a close up of a Marabou stork and it was still a bit far away.
Image


I had never really been a birder until I came on this forum and started looking at the bird posts. But thought after 2 years of being a mite thought I had better learn my bird book collection is now getting bigger 2 more since last week :D .

We pulled into one of the little lay-bys to see if anything was down by the river and just by chance looked up. I have seen these many times on cam but seeing one for real was awesome.
Image

Next after trying to get a picture eventually one sat still. This birding lark is not easy they do not stay still so you can take pictures. Someone needs to have talks with the Kruger peeps about this how are visitors supposed to take them. :wink: :tongue:
It was very early in the morning and its feathers were still damp so time to dry out in the early sun.
Image

I think Vulture look magnificent when they are perched on a tree. But not keen on them when they are doing what they do best scavenging

Image

A couple of cormorants
Image

Crested guinea fowl
Image

My only sighting of a Brown hooded kingfisher well one that sat long enough for me to :cam:
Image

Eventually managed to get a :cam: of the African harrier hawk darn they are quick :dance:
Image

Image

Image

And the last one for now heavy cropped as it was a bit far away.

Image

Enjoy all :D

_________________
May 2014
3 Skukuza
4-6 Letaba
7-11 Satara
12-15 Olifants
16-19 Lower Sabie
20-22 Croc Bridge


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